Developing a Handgun Curriculum

In January I’ll be taking the state-required class to become a Utah Concealed Carry permit instructor. After years of shooting and practicing accuracy from the basement BB gun range and back yard archery range I set up in 5th grade after proving I knew all the rules of firearm safety to concealed carry permits in Oregon and Utah, and finally certification in Utah Bail Enforcement and Armed Security, it seems like the right time to begin passing on my knowledge to others who want to follow the law and protect themselves.

I’ve also started putting together a curriculum to be taught first in Utah that will move students from beginner to intermediate to advanced focused specifically on personal defense. The curriculum will begin with the basic pistol classes I currently teach and will move through concealed carry, selecting a concealed carry firearm, how to read the law, developing the draw-stroke, work with magazines, responding to a threat verbally, responding to a threat through movement, blocking an assailant’s strike, responses to knife attacks, responses to gun attacks, protecting a loved one, responding after an attack and scenario work. To me, this seems like a resolved curriculum for concealed carry.

Through eleven years of teaching adults I’ve learned a lot about delivering lessons. First, the curriculum has to be resolved. Second, each lesson has to be autonomous, with simple steps that can be practiced by each student. The student should remember the lesson by doing the actions, not by thinking about what the action should be. Third, each lesson has to build on the previous lesson. Fourth, students need to learn fundamentals, and then move on to decision making. The decision making needs to be evaluated by the instructor and the student needs immediate feedback after each lesson. Fifth, there needs to be a way of “proficiency testing” students that have come in from other schools or instructors so they don’t need to repeat lessons that they have already integrated.

As I complete the certification requirements I’ll keep you posted. The first exercises should roll out in Spring 2012.


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